Three planes, two outfit changes, and 30 hours of travel has me back in Columbia, Missouri. It almost feels like the past six weeks have been a dream. Although I have physically returned, my mind is still lingering in India.
Saying goodbye to the teachers and students at Delhi Public East was difficult. I grew very close to my host teacher and her home classroom. She has inspired me to be patient, kind, and motherly to all of my students. 4K (my home base classroom) will always have a special place in my heart. I have never met students so intelligent and genuinely kind. My entire last day consisted of constant hugging, exchanging of emails, and questions asking when I will return to India. As I walked out of the school I knew in my heart that I would eventually make it back to see the teachers and students who have impacted my life in such a short amount of time.
The next day it was time to leave Bangalore and Fly to New Delhi. Once we arrived in New Delhi, we drove 4 hours to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Five minutes after stepping off the bus to start our sight seeing day we were already dripping sweat and pulling our hair back into buns. I have never been so hot in my entire life. I was afraid I would need an ambulance to pick me up from the Taj. Besides the heat our day was incredible. Needless to say, the Taj was everything I could imagine and more. It truly is a wonder of the world. The translucent marble that it is built with glows from under the moon and almost blends in with the hazy sky during the day. I feel incredibly lucky that I have been able to see and walk inside the Taj because it is not something that most people get the chance to experience. Once we were done exploring and taking millions of pictures it was time to head to our next sight. Red fort was a fascinating visit. This fort looked like a building from the medieval ages and was ginormous inside. It also has beautiful marble rooms and immaculate details. What I loved the most was being able to see the backside of the Taj looking over the river from ref fort. Once we were done visiting both sites ( and sweating away about ten pounds of water weight) we grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed back to Delhi. Once in Delhi we prepared for our flight home.
Now I am sitting in my apartment in Columbia, Missouri wondering how six weeks flew by so fast and thinking of the people I left behind in India. I truly believe that India has changed me for the best. I do not think I have returned the same as when I left. India has left me feeling enlightened and more aware of the world around me. I am so thankful for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Gabrielle, Tony, and the International Knowledge center for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime. I will never take the experiences I have had on this trip for granted. India has taken a piece of my heart.